October 11, 2018
ESU 10 has promoted Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) to area schools since the 2015-2016 school year. Our efforts have been in assisting schools that have prioritized MTSS as a framework to develop the academic and social emotional behavioral development of ALL students.
At the state level in 2017-2018, we have also seen efforts to promote MTSS and keep all Nebraska educators and stakeholders informed of the work and progress of the Nebraska MTSS (NeMTSS) development team and its systems’ alignment efforts. During the 2018 Nebraska MTSS Summit, August 29-31 in Lincoln, representatives from Iowa and Florida’s state education systems explained the evolution of their models of support to districts. Nebraska has reached out to learn from the best of the best across the nation. Based on the attendance of approximately 750 educators at the Summit, Nebraska’s support of MTSS is truly “on a roll!”
Much of the work of Nebraska MTSS has been guided by stakeholders. An “MTSS Builders” group has been identified to provide input and monitor development of annual priorities. For the 2017-2018 year, these accomplishments have resulted:
• A website has been developed at http://nemtss.unl.edu. There are resources on the website that districts and schools can use to learn about MTSS, to begin its development in their schools, and to move toward deeper implementation of MTSS.
• An NeMTSS Framework document describes six essential elements critical to the sustainability of a district’s MTSS process. This document provides technical assistance and guidance around MTSS best-practice implementation and is meant to be used by districts in conjunction with appropriate training and coaching. The NeMTSS Framework is divided into two sections; the first applies to ALL students and the development of a deeply implemented MTSS process. Part two describes a process of identifying students with a specific learning disability (SLD). It is important that districts can assure the implementation of the NeMTSS essential elements prior to SLD identification.
• The development of an MTSS Self-Assessment has been a priority, as well. The NeMTSS Self-Assessment was developed and piloted across multiple service units, districts, and schools. The purpose of this tool is to provide schools with data to help support their decisions around MTSS implementation. The NeMTSS Self-Assessment is now available for district use. Access to the Self-Assessment is provided on the NeMTSS website.
• Aligning existing models of training available to Educational Service Units, districts and schools is a priority that will continue into 2018-2019. Four “core” days of professional learning were developed and are structured to provide awareness and basic tools for MTSS implementation. Additional tiers of coaching will include the NeMTSS Support Team, PBiS Coaches, Educational Service Units, and Contracted Consultants working together on specialized plans intended to meet the unique needs of individual schools and districts.
• A crosswalk between AQuESTT and the NeMTSS Essential Elements has been completed. Further work will involve coordination at the NDE level to align systems and departments.
The NeMTSS next step priorities for 2018-19 include the following: 1) Awareness – disseminate the NeMTSS Framework document across the state and plan the NeMTSS Summit for 2019; 2) Partnerships – advance NDE, District, and ESU collaboration around NeMTSS implementation; 3) Supports – develop tiered training, coaching models, and integration of academic and behavior models; 4) Quality and Quantity of NeMTSS Resources – include instructional videos of NeMTSS Summit break-out sessions, exemplar district examples, co-developed training modules; and 5) NeMTSS Support Documents and Guidance – offer guidance for non-public schools, as well as fiscal and funding recommendations.
At ESU 10, we are working as part of the NeMTSS stakeholder and builders groups to make these priorities happen. Our districts and schools can contact Patrice Feller at firstname.lastname@example.org for further information about any of the above or to advance their MTSS process. In addition, ESU 10 can help schools complete the Self-Assessment mentioned above at workshops scheduled for September 18, 2018 (see MTSS Implementation Day 1: Self-Assessment for Districts on ODIE) or on January 10, 2019.
The ESU 10 MTSS team is excited to see the realization of coordinated supports for a statewide alignment of MTSS. We believe our schools and students will benefit from MTSS. We believe both ESU 10 and state-level efforts CAN make a difference in improving outcomes for students.
-by Patrice Feller, MTSS Facilitator/Coach